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Thursday, February 15th | What is Love? (not the song…)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 6:00 am

Thursday, February 15th | What is Love? (not the song…)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 15, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks about what love actually is from the scripture.

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This episode of Clearview today is brought to you by Mighty Muscadine. David, let me ask you, how's your immune system lately?

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T-O-D-A-Y. A healthier, happier you is just a click away. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Or you can email us at contact at

That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can share it online with your friends and your family. You can leave us a good five star review on iTunes or Spotify.

Anywhere you get your podcasting content from, we're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. Today's verse of the day is coming to you from Philippians chapter 2, 5 through 6. It says, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. This is the verse.

This is like the crowning verse in Philippians. Paul's talking about unity. He's talking about humility.

He's talking about what you need to pursue in your life. And he says, Christ is the example. That's right. Christ is the one. It's not just you being you better.

It's not just you on a good day. It's you being more like Christ. We need to ultimately, the more we grow in our faith, the more we grow in our understanding of who God is, we need to look less like ourselves and more like Jesus.

That's right. And I love that whole theme of Christ being the example because he even goes on. I thought about including going up to verse 8 in this verse of the day.

It would have been a little long, but verse 8 says that he was being found in appearance as a man. He humbled himself to the point of obedience. He humbled himself and was obedient.

What does it say? He humbled himself and was obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. That's the example that he set for us. And that's a tall, tall order to be obedient even to the point of death. And yet, when Christ is our example, that is what he's called us to do. And so it's a charge, I think, for us to look, like Brian said, look more and more like Christ with every breath that we take and with every second that we spend on this earth, knowing that he's our example. And ultimately, he's our reward. That's right. That keeps me going. So, okay, it's Thursday.

Thursday. Time for advice no one needed. This is advice. This is the segment of our show. And this Thursday, we give you guys some advice that hopefully will change your life for the better. And I've got one today that I have learned from Dr. Gaines himself. This is something that Dr. Shaw taught me when I was just but a wee lad.

A little tyke. I had never grilled a burger in my life. Guess what?

Still haven't. But I learned this cool trick that I taught my wife. When you make burgers, right, you want to get that premium lean beef.

Like what? Ninety-seven-three. That's lean.

Wow, that's really lean. You don't have to go ninety-seven. I would say ninety-three-seven. Yeah, yeah, he does like ninety-three-seven.

Sometimes he does ninety-ten. But you want to get some nice lean burgers, right? Not a whole lot of fat. Yeah. Go on ahead and put some steak seasoning on there. Dip the patty in A1 steak sauce before you put it on that grill. Yeah, it does make a difference.

It makes a big difference. And I'm telling you, brother, some people like to marinate it in Worcestershire or just chicken stuff. I don't know what some people... They put it in those plastic bags and just shake it up and stuff. Just dip it in A1. A1 steak sauce makes anything taste better. But you want to put it on there before the burger. Yeah, depending on how you do your burgers. If you cook them from frozen, you can dunk them in A1. If you make the patty yourself, it's going to be hard to dunk it. But just brush it on. Get you one of those silicone brushes and brush it on there.

I'm telling you, the A1 will make a difference. And that steak seasoning, too? So good. It seeps into all the meat so that when you take a bite, it just fills up all the space available. So the way... You know the mark of a good burger. When you try to talk... Yeah, you can't.

And you can't. Nothing comes out. If you can talk while you're eating a burger, it's not a quality burger. When I eat Dr. Shaw's burgers, they... It's a quiet room.

Everybody's quiet because it's just taking up all the available space. And all that A1... I'm not going to lie. When I eat homemade burgers, rarely do I eat two. But when I eat Dr. Shaw's A1 burgers... I eat nine.

Oh my gosh. No, I'm just kidding. I don't. Nine burgers.

I don't. But I do eat two. Yeah, I eat two as well. I do eat two. That's my advice no one needed. It's short. It's simple. Go ahead and just dunk your burgers in A1.

And Ryan's talking about dipping them on. I say go for it. Ball it up, cram it up in your fist, and just dunk it in a bucket. Yeah, you could do that.

You could just, in a ball, just dunk it in there and then flatten it out. Ryan and let us know what you think about our A1 burger hack. 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at Stay tuned.

We'll be back after this. Elizabeth, my darling bride, what would you say is the most beneficial thing you could do for yourself in the morning? Probably drink an entire pot of coffee when sitting.

I'd say that's a close second. No, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start every morning with a daily devotional. Only be one to talk about.

Well, as it turns out, we have two. Right now, you can unlock the power of daily inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual growth in our devotional series, Thirty Days Through a Crisis and Thirty Days to a New Beginning. Written by our pastor, Dr. Abaddon Shah, and his wife, Nicole, the Thirty Days devotional series is designed to reveal new biblical truths every single day.

That's right. And every day is a new revelation to guide you on your Christian journey toward a more meaningful and purposeful life. You can pick up your copy today from our website, that's, where you can grab both books on Amazon, Apple Books, and Audible.

That's Thirty Days Through a Crisis and Thirty Days to a New Beginning by Abaddon and Nicole Shah. And don't forget, these are only the first two in an expanding devotional series, so keep your eyes peeled for future installments. Thanks for listening. Now, let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. That's right. We are here once again in the Clearview Today studio with Dr. Abaddon Shah, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and host of today's show, Culinary Genius A1 Expert. Dr. Shah, we talked earlier about your, I'm just going to say, legendary burgers.

Yes, legendary. Dunked and slathered in A1. The only way. Who taught you to do that?

Somebody did, I just don't remember now. I was talking about how typically with homemade burgers, I'll eat one, because I'm not a fan of really homemade burgers. I don't know. So I guess that's just what happens when you grow up on fast food. But when I eat yours, I always eat like two, sometimes two and a half.

Right. So you do that thing where you see the kids and he's not going to finish his. It's like, Daddy'll take it. That's okay.

Daddy'll take it for you. We also talked like the mark of a good burger is that you can't talk while you're eating the burger. That's right. If you can like shove it to the side of your mouth and soak it here in a conversation, the burger is probably subpar. But if it just soaks up every corner of your mouth, just kind of like when we have eaten your burgers before, it's just a very quiet room. Yeah, that's true.

It's just a very quiet room. Which lets you know that that's a good burger. You want to describe your process, your burger process? Well, what I do is Nicole will get the hamburger meat and then begins the process of trying to marinate it. And I put seasoning on it. And I take a brush and lather it with, not lather, it's kind of just coat it with A1 sauce. And then once that is done, let that sit there for a while. And then I'll fire up the grill and let it get to a certain temperature and then slowly lay them out and keep an eye on it. And then I'll turn it. But I make sure it's a little pink in the middle.

A little pink is okay. Yeah, it's good. You know, the day after Valentine's Day, we're still talking about love. Love is on people's minds. Speaking of love, I love my new Clearview water cup right there. Isn't that nice? It's a Stanley. Chris, it's not a Stanley. It's a family. It's a family. But it is very nice. Keeps my water nice and cold.

Fits in my cup holder. And it's so sleek looking. It is very sleek. Very clean lines. Love that. Just minimal.

For the millennial in you. Hold on. Hold on. How's the water taste, man? Crisp. Crisp and clear. Crisp. So good.

Check this out. I'll show you mine. I got some hot tea in a Harvard mug. This mug does not belong to me. This dark shop mug. This is not my mug. You want to tell the story of how this mug came to be? That came to you right now?

Yeah, just now. Oh, gosh. Should I be roasting, David?

I think go for it. That's the goal. So I'm funny about, you know, washed a cup, washed a mug. And I have like three mugs sitting on my desk.

And they haven't been washed. So I told him, I said, I'll get the mug. I'm getting the mug. Of course, he came in. He got the mug.

Yeah. But did he wash it? No, he didn't wash it. He just put the tea right in it. So here's what I said. I said, the tea's going down the drain. I'll drink out of a dirty mug, no problem. It's pretty good.

Not that they're like horribly dirty. Yeah. It just... What tea was this? There's tea in it. Do you remember which tea this one was? It tastes kind of like the caramel apple, but I can't tell. No, it's a constant comment.

It's black tea with like orange rind. Okay. Yeah. It's good.

Yesterday he made a tea which was really, really good. It was, what was it? The coating? The coat? Throat coat? Oh, that throat coat stuff.

Oh, man. That stuff is good. I've been drinking it.

It's going out of style. What is the word? Echinacea. I kept saying lemon and enchilada.

It's not that. Echinacea? Echinacea. Echinacea. Wow.

It was really good. That's the stuff they keep in the studio when we're doing the album. We drink that stuff. Oh, really? Oh, yes. That's what he heard about it?

Yeah. Our producer, the guy who's producing our album, keeps it on hand. I'm going to tell you, that stuff is like magic. It is.

You've been in there singing in the booth for like two or three hours and your voice starts to give out. I don't know what it is about that stuff, but it's like magic. It's so nice. My voice, you can hear the little raspy raspy today I've been drinking throatcoat like it's going out of style. Yeah. Okay. You know, I love throatcoat.

I think you might say you would love it. Yes. Yes. I love throatcoat. Love it. I love my new Clearview cup. I love my new Harvard mug that I'm going to have to give up after.

That's not your Harvard mug. Right. We're talking about love today.

We're talking about it being the day after Valentine's Day. You know, a lot of times people assign different meanings to the word love or they use it in a variety of contexts, but love is an innately Christian concept. Yes, it is. And it is one that is the hardest to understand. If you think about it. What is love? I'm not talking about a song. I was going to say, baby, don't hurt me. What is this? What's this thing that you all of a sudden shower that person with gifts and things and want to be close to them?

What is love? Right. Right. It's not, is it just that intense feeling that I feel? It's got to be deeper than that. Yeah.

I mean, in our world today, to have a feeling for anybody is sometimes looked upon as being like, oh, you're weird. Yeah. True.

I mean, our world is so upside down that we need to spin around a thousand times to get it right side up. Yeah. I mean, it's so messed up. So people don't know what love is about. Yeah. And they don't know how to love properly because they have no concept of love. And if they do, it's a distorted concept of love because they were loved. Improperly.

Improperly. Yeah. I think that's a hard thing to come to terms with, especially in a world like today, because you want to always be like the person who doesn't understand love is out there.

It's never going to be me because I want myself to be, I guess, assimilated into this cultural understanding of what we know love to be. But even the cultural understanding is distorted. Yeah. Our world is so messed up regarding love. We are in trouble. But also in our English language, that's the concept of love is also so multifarious that I love hamburger.

We just talked about hamburger cheeseburgers. And I love my wife. They're not on the same level. Yeah, both true.

Both true. I love, but it's not the same thing. But I love basketball and I love my children, but it's very different. So how do I know how to love people versus things and hobbies and whatever else?

Or even more so, how do I know when people say that God loves me? How do I know that it's not- Not how I love a hamburger. Right, right.

Exactly. I love cheeseburgers. But every now and then I can take or leave a cheeseburger. You know what I mean?

I still love them, but I don't want to today. When we say that God loves me, is it the same thing? I mean, clearly not.

But what is that difference? But cheeseburgers don't hurt my feelings. They may hurt my- My arteries. My arteries. They're not going to hurt my feelings.

My cholesterol. They're not going to betray me. I mean, they may in a way that an inanimate object can ever betray somebody. But they don't betray me.

They cannot hurt me in the same way as an animate thing can. So how do I truly love God? How do I truly love people?

How do I truly love myself? Because all three of them, they are interconnected. Maybe let's dive into it a little bit. Yeah, let's do that.

So a passage in the Bible that helps us greatly regarding love, I know immediately somebody said, 1 Corinthians 13. Yeah. Yes, true.

We did that last year. Yes, yes, yes. But I want to focus on Romans Chapter 8 verses 35 to 39. And this is a powerful chapter or passage on love. And it used to be Adrian Rogers' favorite verse in the Bible. Oh, really? Yeah. Wow. Romans 8, verse 38.

But let me read. Romans 8, 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for your sake we are all killed. We are killed all day long. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Wow. Powerful. Do you want to talk about for a minute the song that we wrote here at Clearview Church? It's called I Trust You. And it was a song that you and I wrote together. And your wife actually sings it.

It's on our Together Forward EP. And it comes from this passage. Because at the time when we wrote it, your mom was still living. And she was struggling with the death of your father.

And we kept coming back. We wanted to write a song that kind of dealt with that. But I remember something that was really important for you because you were talking to her on the phone at the time. And you were saying, you know, there's still love. Even though he's gone, you still have the love of Christ and nothing can separate. And it kept coming back to that verse 38.

That's the bridge of that song, height nor death, life nor death, height nor depth. And it was such a powerful thing. And I remember writing that song with you. That song became a lot more than what we originally intended because of this verse.

Yes, it did. Because you're interacting with a person who is struggling with a love that is no longer present. The feelings are still there. The heart is still there. The mind is even still there because we think love is just of the heart. No, that's not true.

Love is the heart, mind, everything coming together, dedicated towards this one person, this being. But that object is gone. And add on to that that you, her son, who she's talking to, your company, you're 3,000 something miles away. Right.

You're across an entire ocean. So you're giving her words of comfort. At the same time, there's still separation. But then that comfort that nothing could ever separate her from Christ or any of us from Christ.

Yeah, that helped tremendously. So sometimes you have to go through the fire to really understand the meaning of such high concepts as love. And we're going to link that song, just a selfless plug, we're going to link that song on iTunes in the description of the show. And even just hearing that heart behind that song is just, it's so powerful because I know that song. I've heard that song.

I've heard Nicole sing that song. But I didn't quite know all the heart behind it, that it came out of a conversation with your mom about never being separated from the love of God. That just makes it resonate on such a deeper level. And that kind of leads us into this point, which is unless you receive God's love properly, you cannot love yourself properly. And unless you love yourself properly, you cannot love others properly.

Yeah. That's a good point. We don't tend to think that we can receive God's love improperly. But I guess there are people out there who believe that God loves them conditionally, that God only loves them when they do the right things or when their spiritual life is where it needs to be.

Right. And I don't know that we would ever say it in those terms, but I've certainly thought in that direction, like, oh, I miss my devotions today. God's mad at me. I miss the mark here that God's disappointed in me, and he's going to withhold this from me, because we're mapping those human aspects onto God's character. We start all our human relationships at equilibrium, and then if I make someone angry, our relationship's a little altered for the worse.

And then when we make up, it's a little altered for the better, but it always comes back to equilibrium. Yeah. And I feel like we treat God like that. Right. And it's a huge mistake. So how we see God is how we're going to see ourselves, and how we see ourselves is how we're going to see other people. Or you can substitute see with treat, or you can substitute treat with love. It's all connected.

And unfortunately, as we began this conversation, love is so poorly misunderstood, and love is so horribly distorted in our culture, that just to get the heart of this in 20 minutes is impossible. Well, we're going to give it a shot. Yeah, let's go for it. We're going to try.

And look, there's always tomorrow. That's right. So to back up a little bit and just talk about love, unless the Holy Spirit pours God's love in our hearts, we cannot but understand just a superficial understanding of love. Now, again, it does not mean that lost people cannot understand love, or they cannot love their spouses, or their children, or their parents, or their friends.

Yes, they can. But the love we're talking about is divine kind of love. And that love only comes when you receive Christ as your Savior. Yeah, because the world's idea of love, even though it's strong, and it's potent, and it's powerful and impactful, it's ultimately still selfish.

It's based on what we can do for each other, and hence what you can do for me. Right, right. And God's love, as Paul says, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? And he lists seven physical hazards that may appear to separate us from God's love, but they don't. So the first one is tribulation. When we talk about tribulation, we're talking about strong pressure.

Can strong pressure separate us from God? It's the same word that you use for treading grapes. And it may look like a fun process, but think about the grapes.

Yeah, it's true. Is being crushed so that they burst and juice comes out. Or think about the grape lady. You remember that grape lady video? Oh, yeah.

I'll show it to you after this. It's not fun. Oh, really?

No. This lady takes a tumble. She's stomping grapes and gets stomped.

Yeah, it's bad. But that word is also found in John chapter 16, 33, where Jesus said, in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. And tribulation is that you will have strong pressure in this world, but don't worry, I have overcome the world. What that means is God's love for us in Jesus Christ will overcome any pressure that you and I face.

I love that, because it's not just a declaration of victory just for the sake of, look at me, I win. It's that anything that ever comes against you, I have overcome it. You know what I mean?

Right. I have to live my life focused upon Him, keeping my eyes on Him. And so tribulation, extreme pressure, but then the second word is distress. That word has the meaning of a narrow, cramped space. It means that you are in a situation where you can't go to the right or to the left. You're sort of in a holding pattern, and you're stuck. Seems like there is no answer from God, but God still loves you.

You have to receive by faith that He still loves you as you are in that situation, and that's hard sometimes. Yeah. Because I think we're designed for motion. We're designed to be pushing forward, so when we halter, especially for years of our life ... Halter?

Falter? Either way, when we're not moving forward, we tend to stagnate, and we forget God. That's right. The third word that is used regarding these physical hazards is the word persecution. This is not about being blamed for doing something wrong, like, I got a ticket. I'm being persecuted. No, we're talking about something you didn't do wrong. I was going 70 in a school zone, but I shouldn't get a ticket. Yeah, that's not persecuted.

That's prosecuted. Man, I was going through some stuff. There you go, dude.

That was pretty nice. In John 15, 20, Jesus said, if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If you and I are one with Christ, then we're going through this, but He is with us.

You experienced a little bit of that growing up. Of course. We did not face persecution, face problems, but we did not doubt God's love for us.

I think that's important for people to hear, that not only did you go through persecution, but it actually strengthened your faith, whereas many people here in America, where we grow up with all the luxuries of modern day America, if we face even the slightest bit of pushback or persecution, we would typically run, ignore it, or just give up completely. That's right. Yeah. The fourth physical hazard is famine, hunger. There are Christians throughout history and even right now who may be struggling with famine somewhere in the world. It's because of their faith in Christ, but the promise is that He does not leave us just because we're in famine. Right.

Right. In fact, He is close to us. In fact, He has suffered famine with us. Think about Him being in the wilderness- For 40 days.

... 40 days. He is fasting. Of course, it's a choice, and the people who are struggling in famine somewhere in the world because of Christianity, it's not a choice. Having said that, Jesus can not only sympathize with us, but more than that, He can empathize with us. Yeah. Because even if it was a choice, that didn't make it any easier to endure, and it wasn't like He chose to do it for kicks and giggles. It was important that He did that.

It was necessary. It wasn't just Him acting like He was hungry. It wasn't just Him pretending to be hungry, like, I'm just giving the appearance of being hungry.

No. He felt hunger just like we do. Right. He felt hunger. Those pangs of hunger.

That's right. There's another one, which is nakedness, lack of clothes. Not because you can't buy any, it's because you don't have any means to buy any. I've seen Christians like that in villages in India. Back in the 80s, I remember going places with Dad and with our church to start churches in some of the villages, and some of those Christians, man, it was so sad. Wow. They didn't have anything. That's insane. You know, we lived in India, but we had a lot. Compared to us, these people didn't have anything. Wow.

Yeah. But they still loved Jesus. When there was time of praise and worship in the evening, very different style of music, but they would just be singing their hearts out, and we would look at them and go, man, look at what they're going through and look at how they love God and how they worship God. They come in with a smile on their face. Wow. That's a faith to be emulated.

Yeah. Say, good evening, good morning. He's like, hey, hello. They would sit down and very quietly just be looking at us because we're the people from the big city who are here to spend some time with them, but they didn't look down on us. They didn't judge us.

None of that. They're like, hey, and then they start singing, and you're like, wow. How can these people love God when they're going through so much? That's incredible. You know? So that's one thing. Peril, it means danger. It means risk.

A sword, this could be execution. You may die from this, from your faith, but you still love Jesus Christ. And there's so many people all over the world who still live in these difficult situations, and I feel like in our little American bubble, we're shielded from that. We're shielded from that reality.

Yeah. It's hard for me to sit here around this table with my hot tea and iPad and stuff and talk about how God loves me. But then you think about some of those people that you're talking about, Dr. Shah, and some of the people overseas who are living in these difficult situations, and yet they never doubt God's love for them. That strength still exists today. It's not just the stuff of stories.

Even in the 80s, that was still there, and I mean, that helps me. That encourages me. And the verse that follows is Romans 8.37, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. The word we come back to is love. We are conquerors because he loved us. So we have to get our mind in that zone.

And if you got anything from that OnTrack series, it's this. Without faith, it is impossible not only to please God, but to live the Christian life. So you have to accept all these things by faith. If you say, what do you mean in tribulation? What do you mean in hunger?

What do you mean? You have to, by faith, believe that he loves you. You have to remind yourself that. You have to trust in his promises and know that the love is there, whether you feel it or not, whether your circumstances reflect it or not.

You have to accept that that love is there. That's right. And if you guys are wondering what Dr. Shah is meaning when he says the OnTrack series, this is the current sermon series we're going through right now as of January, I'm sorry, as of February 2024. You're going to be able to find those and our other podcast, Dr. Shah's other podcast is Sermons with Dr. Abadan Shah, or by Dr. Abadan Shah. But we'll link to those as well. And I want to, in the coming weeks, go through the OnTrack series here on Clearview today. Because I think it's such an incredible time where we can really look at being intentional with spiritual disciplines in 2024. That was sort of the heart behind that series. Yeah.

And another great resource for you, in addition to the Sermons podcast, is Dr. Shah's website, That's right. It has all of his transcripts, all of his messages there. You can go in and read those different messages, see how they apply to your life, and learn more about the Greek behind those texts and really figure out what it means to live a life that is OnTrack. You know, we had lightning round questions on the docket for tomorrow, but do you want to keep talking about what we're talking about? Because there's so much more that we can get into here. Yeah.

Yeah. I want to continue in that passage, because we're trying to understand what love is like. Love is like this, where God doesn't abandon us. And you have to receive that by faith. You cannot just say, well, my circumstance. Well, then, OK, the whole conversation breaks down at that point. You have to receive by faith that this is there, and that doesn't change. Whether life is good or life is bad.

No, he still loves me. That's right. How do I know? By faith. And to a person who either is lost or really shallow in their Christian life, this will be a difficult concept.

And I'm sorry for you. My faith is not moved. That's right. That's right.

That's right. I can't wait to dig into that more on tomorrow's episode. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, write in and let us know, 2525825028, or you can visit us online at Don't forget, you partner with us financially on that same website. Be a part of what God is doing through the Clear View Today show to reach hearts and minds with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I also want to encourage you to visit They're the sponsors for today's episode. Go check out their line of products and use the promo code TODAY when you check out.

That's T-O-D-A-Y. It's going to get you a great little discount, and a portion of those proceeds are going to come right back here to the Clear View Today show. You excited about tomorrow? I'm excited, man. Let's do it. Love you guys. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 08:23:36 / 2024-02-15 08:38:52 / 15

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